An awkward cigarette

‘Tu fume?’ asks the waiter who served me breakfast.

‘Des fois’, I say.

I don’t, really. Well, I do about once a month, as a social thing. Sometimes, especially abroad, smoking is a good way to build social connections. And with social connections comes knowledge.

The waiter invites me outside. We stand facing the undulating green landscape. The silence grows longer, and our interest in the hillside more intent. We are both waiting for something to happen. It is at this point that I realise that I have been invited outside not to smoke a cigarette, but to provide one.

We return inside.

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